If you are using social media to build a brand or business, it’s important to make the right moves. However, you don’t want to use someone else’s copyrighted content. Being inadvertent is one thing, but knowingly doing it can have negative effects.
Even if it’s inadvertent, you still face the possibility of getting into legal trouble. We’ll discuss the six important things you’ll want to know about copyright when it comes to choosing images for social media posts. We’ll give you a few ideas to help you find the right images and avoid the issue of infringement.
If You’re Accused of Copyright Infringement, Consult a Copyright Lawyer
Copyright infringement can happen even if it’s unintended. For this reason, you want to be ready just in case you are facing accusations. Finding the right copyright lawyer will be your first step.
With the right lawyer in your corner, they’ll be able to understand the situation and be knowledgeable in copyright laws.
The case may never reach trial and can be settled outside of the courtroom. It’s important that you inform your lawyer about the situation so you can be able to plan the next moves to rectify the situation.
Things to know about when choosing images
Let’s take a look now at the things you’ll want to be aware of when choosing images for your social media posts:
Use websites that provide free stock photos
There are plenty of places on the Internet that offer free stock photos. Sites like Unsplash and Pexels are a couple of great examples. All you need to do is download the photos and use them to your advantage.
You won’t have to violate copyright laws. However, you can boost the photo creator’s profile and give them special thanks. Also, throw in a donation their way if you can.
Create your own images
This can’t be said enough. You have the option to create your own images. Do you have photography skills that are awesome?
If so, create your own images. You own the photos and you can use them however you want. Plus, you won’t be accused of infringement for your own work (of course).
Even if your photo-taking skills aren’t the best, try your hand at it. It doesn’t have to be the perfect image. Nor do you need professional equipment.
Hire a photographer, but give credit
If you want to hire a professional, then go for it. Remember to give them credit where it’s due. You can have someone else create the images for you.
This can be a freelance photographer or someone who may be in-house (depending on the business you’re running). Keep in mind that when hiring freelancers, some of them will charge more than others. Choose the best one based on the work they’ve done in the past and what they can do for you.
Even better, choose a freelance photographer that is familiar with your industry. They may be knowledgeable about it and can create industry-centric images that you can use for your social media posts.
Find images using Google, Bing, etc.
One of the best ways to find images is on search engines like Google and Bing. What you’ll want to do is search for an image. On Google, you will need to click on the ‘tools’ tab on the right.
You will see an option that is labeled ‘usage rights’. Click on it and choose the ‘commercial & other licenses’ option. If you’re using Bing, the concept is similar.
On Bing, go to the image search and type in the keyword. Next, you’ll want to click on the ‘filter’ option on the far right of the screen. You’ll see the options appear.
Select the ‘License’ menu and you’ll see plenty of options. These include public domain, free to share and use commercially, and so on. Choose the option that best suits your intent and purpose.
Either way, you’ll want to use these options to your advantage. This will help you choose images without having to commit an act of infringement albeit by accident.
Choosing relevant images for your post
While this might have nothing to do with copyright, we’d like to remind you to be respectful of that when choosing an image that is relevant to your post. You may not find one that may be fitting enough if you are using methods like search engines or free stock websites.
Sometimes, you may find that the images you want to use are copyright protected. Your best options at this point will be to create your own or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, the image that is relevant to your post will make the post stand out even more.
For example, if you are posting on social media about purchasing a new car and you post a picture of a boat, it may not make sense. That is unless you are creating a post about finding the right vehicle with enough towing ability for a boat, which can be fine.
Other than that, make sure the image is relevant to the message you are trying to put out there to your target audience. Don’t make it confusing or misleading as that can lead to trouble down the road.
If you are looking for ways to avoid accusations of copyright infringement, we have ideas that will help you find the right images for social media. If you are faced with a potential legal issue, you can speak to a copyright lawyer that knows the laws and will be of assistance.
Other than that, it’s important to stick to some of the resources we’ve mentioned. Put your photography talents to good use, if you have them. Hire someone to create the images for you.
If you’re in a pinch, use the power of the Internet and use relevant, copyright-free images that will be perfect.
About the Author
Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link-building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.